Skills

Puppy Potty Training Schedule – House Training Your New Best Friend

Probably the first thing any new dog or puppy owner starts to think about is our new friend’s bathroom habits… or lack thereof. Whether you have a pupper, boofer, floofer, thicc boi, or any other adorable doggo, potty training is all about PATIENCE and POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT!

WHEN AND WHERE DO I START?

Both are valid questions. Let’s begin by addressing the WHEN. Leading experts say you should begin the house training when puppy is between 12 to 16 weeks old, at around the time they will start to figure out how to hold their #1’s or #2’s. If you have an older dog with bad habits of going potty in the house, we will address that later on in this article.

As far as where do I start, the first thing you want to consider is THERE WILL BE ACCIDENTS IN THE HOUSE!!! To help alleviate this, try to confine your canine companion to a smaller region within the house, such as a kennel, or block off small area of a room for them. This will not only help minimize the amount of damage that could potentially come from missed accidents or unknown mishaps, it will also give an opportunity for positive reinforcement down the road as the puppy learns to go outside more and more.

Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Take them to the same area of the lawn or outside to go to the bathroom. Their previous scent will encourage them to do their business
  • Never get mad at them for making a toilet of the house. It only creates fear of you, and that’s the absolute last thing you want to do with such a precious gift that dogs are. Rather a loud clap of the hands will get them to hopefully take notice and stop what they’re doing so you can immediately and CALMLY take them outside to finish.
  • Always follow up an outside success with praise and a treat. If you really want to be fur-mother or fur-father of the year, take the pup out for a leisurely walk around the block as a nice reward as well.
  • Lastly, always take puppy outside FIRST THING IN THE MORNING and LAST POSSIBLE THING IN THE EVENING. That way puppy can learn that when we wake up, we go outside and do the doodoo, and start the day off with some nice positive reinforcement first thing in the A.M. Remember, CONSISTENCY IS KEY!

How Do I Know When My Puppy Needs to Go?

Dogs, much the same as people, all have unique personalities. This means the cues for “I have to go Boom-Boom” could differ between dogs, but they will all still follow a general behavioral pattern.

Remember earlier how I mentioned it is best to cordon off a special area just for the pup? While he or she is relaxing in their space, pay close attention to restless behavior. It is this restless behavior that is a telltale sign of an imminent bathroom break.

Restless behavior could mean anything from whining to barking, sniffing, turning in circles, groaning, or even just staring at you. My dog likes to lick our hands when she wants us to notice she has to use the bathroom. These signs are easier to pick up on and become almost second nature to you the more time you spend with your four-legged friend.

Don’t forget, the bathroom is the first activity of the day and the last activity of the night.

Puppy See, Puppy Do

It is also important to socialize dogs as well to give them an opportunity to learn how to interact with other dogs. This can come with many benefits, as older dogs can teach younger dogs.

This is a technique you can use to your advantage by having your puppy learn good potty habit from a dog that is already house-trained.

Having said that, this can also carry some drawbacks. Too much socializing with a dog that has bad habits can lead to your puppy learning some of those bad habits, such as excessive barking, territorial spraying, or aggression.

Adult Dogs With Bad House Habits

Often times, adopting a new dog can be stressful not just for yourself but also the dog. A change in environment is a massive change in lifestyle for an animal that really isn’t all that apprised of what is going on around them. How are they supposed to know that this is now their new “forever” home? As far as they are concerned, last night they were sleeping in one house, and now tonight they are sleeping in a foreign place.

Having said that, anxiety issues that lead to accidents in the house should clear up in a few days, or a couple of weeks at the maximum, provided you are patient and spending adequate time with your new family member.

If potty problems persist after your dog has become accustomed to their new environment, you will need to continue to work on potty training as if they were a puppy. Failing that, consult your veterinarian to test for potential underlying medical issues that may affect a dog’s bladder and bowel control.

Time and Patience Are KEY!

Just remember, your furry little friend may not learn as fast as you would sometimes hope. That’s why it is important you are spending as much time as possible with your pup and exercising maximum amounts of patience, as this can take up to a year for a puppy to be fully potty trained.

Remember to keep an eye on how often they are eating and drinking, and every half hour is a decent time to take them outside to do their business.

Consistency in a bathroom area on the lawn, schedule, and affirmation will ultimately prevail until your little pupper graduates to being a fully housebroken doggo and a functioning member of your family.

If you have anything to add, feel free to leave a comment below and help out other readers in the community with your experiences and findings. Thanks for reading, and I look forward to providing you more great content in the future.

12 Comments

  • Babsie Wagner

    Oh my goodness, the first thing that grabbed my attention was the picture at the top of this article, lol.  Doggie going poopy!  Ha Ha!  Yes, with a new puppy, you will have doggie going poopy for sure.  I agree with you totally that yelling at the dog is not the way to train him or her at all.  There are much better ways to train than being a bully.  Thank you for such a great article with all the tips a new mom or dad need to raise their sweet baby puppy to learn good habits.

    • Nathan Webster

      Haha that’s my dog too!!!  I took the picture for the sole purpose of the article and to grab attention.  It looks like it works LOL.  Seriously though, one of the things my parents always did growing up was rub the dog’s nose in their accidents in the house.  Then we’d know when the dogs made a dookie in the house because when we’d come home they’d run away in fear.  I learned later on in life through my research and experience that a dog does not that the acumen to correlate the action they made previous to the reason for their punishment.  As such, I vowed never to have my dog fear me.  Now that’s not to say she doesn’t get in trouble, but we have a pretty constructive method for giving her heck, and it’s pretty cute cuz she “awooooos” back at me.

      Anyway, sorry for the long rant.  Thanks for checking it out and I appreciate the comment.  Have a great day!

      Nathan

  • Josh

    My wife and I have 2 doodles that we’ve had since they were puppies, so I can say I’m speaking from experience here as I’ve went through training not once but twice.

    One of the things that really helped when we were training was that we started them out in a kennel, and they consider this their home so they are less likely to go potty or poop in it. IN fact every time they would start crying and I was able to take them outside!

    Any time they did have an accident I would clap my hands and tell them no with a stern voice, and then take them outside to teach them that’s where they needed to go.

    Patience was a huge help while training them because there were some trying times, but after persistence we were able to get them to go to the door when they needed to go out.

    • Nathan Webster

      Hi Josh.

      kennels are great for training. My ex wife and I found a kennel was the easiest way of training our Chihuahua/terrier. It was the only place in the whole house she wouldn’t piss lol.

      thanks for checking out the article. I hope you enjoy more of what we have to offer at MPC.  Take care for now.

      Nathan

  • Dave Sweney

    This is an extremely useful post for all dog lovers who at some point add to their family a new little puppy that is so cute and shows so much potential but lacks the basic life skills that will make or break his tenure within the household. Chewing, biting, barking, and yes puppy potty training are all skills the young lad or lass needs.

    Your suggested schedule and regimen seems like it would work very well, and it lays out exactly the steps needed for those of us who have not had a new puppy added to the household in some years. Techniques change, new methods are discovered, and better ways often.

    You have laid out one that will work. The last bit of advice is perhaps the best of all. Time and patience will be required, as with any new and young addition to the family. The more love you put into this training, the better off, as long term everyone will be better off to include the puppy, the family, and even the neighbors! Great post and great advice…

    • Nathan Webster

      Thank you Dave for your kind words.

      I agree with what you say about the last bit of advice.  I see it all too many times where people want to adopt a puppy… and then it turns out to be too hard or too much work or they just can’t handle it.  Time, patience, and above all else, love are the key ingredients to having a puppy.  

      Our puppies are supposed to not just be pets but valued members of the household.  Believe it or not, our puppy contributes as much to the household as I or my wife or any of the kids.  She has her purpose within the family unit and we have a purpose in her life, and that is a symbiotic relationship I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.

      Thanks again for reading.  I wish you all the best.

      Nathan

  • Buffy

    When I first got my little weiner dog, I took her out every time she woke up from a nap. It turned out to be a good thing because she went almost immediately after I put her down on the ground. I rewarded her with treats, saying “good girl”. It worked! She learned that outside was the place to go boom boom lol! Great post, and lovely picture lol!

    • Nathan Webster

      Ah yes, the old wake ‘n shake!  It is a method as old as time and is probably the most effective for potty training.  When we first got our puppy, we lived in an apartment building, and she thought the hallway was outside, so she would drop a squat and piss on the hallway floor.  Basically, how we eventually taught her was as soon as she wakes up, before she even has a chance to take a step out of her kennel, I would pick her up and carry her down the stairs and outside.

      It was brilliant because there was this corner patch of grass and it was the only place she would pee.  And for whatever reason she never pees just a little bit.  It was like the child was made of pure urine.  Anyway, by the time we bought a house and moved, she had probably 10 m squared completely brown and dead in that corner she had peed there so much.  I felt bad for the property owners… but they advertise being pet friendly so I guess that is to be expected.

      Well thank you so much for reading and commenting!  Hopefully you find more great anecdotes on our site.

      Nathan

      PS. The photo is my dog lol.  I took the picture for the sole purpose of the article hahaha

  • Alblue

    Thanks for elaborating the doggie potty training thoroughly. My cousin has bought two pups months ago and I’ve decided to help him taking care of the pups. We feel it is the time to start potty training, I still can’t notice our little friends’ pattern for boom-boom, but we will observe more carefully from now. Is there a need to use certain dog potty / portable potty to train our little friends? Thanks

    • Nathan Webster

      Ah yes… potty training!  I actually found puppies learn potty training way faster than kids lol.  One thing I can think of is if you still are having a tough time getting them to NOT go in the house, try just taking them outside every half hour or every hour.

      It is that routine of going outside and sniffing the same patches that helps to teach a dog the proper habits.  Then when they eventually make a toilet, no matter how small, celebrate it with lots of excited praise and treats and hugs and kisses and snoots and all that fun stuff!

      Take care and good luck!

      Nathan

  • Ray

    Great post! I don’t have a dog at the present as I live in a condo with no pets. I did, however, have a dog about 35 years ago when I lived in a house. Dusty was a great dog. Black Lab-Shepherd cross. He learned very quickly that doing his business in the house was not an option. I just kept taking him outside to the backyard until he got the message. I wish I had read this article back then. He went all over the back lawn because that’s where I took him. When the grass grew in the Summer we had these brilliant green patches where  Dusty did his business. Had I known better, I would’ve taken him over to the garden all Fall and Winter. Would have had amazing crops I think.

    • Nathan Webster

      Thanks for checking in Ray.

      We actually have the opposite issue with our grass.  My front lawn is pretty barren because the dog pisses gallons every time she goes outside, and female dog urine is so high in acid it often times kills grass.  Our front lawn area is basically now just dirt and patchy garbage looking grass.  It’s pretty funny when you think about it.

      Thanks for taking a look.  Have a great day!

      Nathan

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